We didn't expect to see EyeEm, the mobile photo app, on a stock photo buyers PICTAday fair in Munich. But EyeEm actually works on something disrupting for the stock photography market. They have already announced their cooperation with Getty Images as well as their own EyeEm marketplace which we will talk about in this video interview. Now meet our old friend Dittmar Frohmann, VP sales and marketing and Gen Sadanake, co-founder of EyeEm in our video interview. Check out the interview below or on Youtube, this is also the first time we provide a full transcript of the video. Please let us know how you like it.
Amos: Hi, this is Amos from StockPhotoSecrets.com and today we are at PICTAday, here in beautiful Munich. And we meet with Dittmar Frohmann and Gen from EyeEm here. Gen is the co-founder of EyeEm, and Dittmar, we met him before in several other videos. He is the new – what are you doing Dittmar?
Dittmar: Some say ….. stuff.
Dittmar: Everything. I'm doing content at the moment.
Amos: So this is the new interesting part of EyeEm, what EyeEm has just announced – and it's on stockphotosecrets.com as well – about the marketplace as well as the Getty Image Collection. Can you tell me about that a little bit, Dittmar, please?
Dittmar: Sure, no problem. EyeEm is a huge community. We have more than ten million downloads and so obviously, there's quite a huge amount of images there. So what we're doing is we go there and we ask the photographers for permission and if they're interested in selling the stuff. What we've done is we've come up with a new market model. It's a very simple model. It's one size, one licence, one price. Everything costs one euro, you buy the image once and that's it. And there is no strings attached at all. That means you don't have to pay more if you have more seeds or you want to print it in a higher print run. It's super simple on that side and it's very inexpensive. It's just one euro per image.
Amos: So obviously there was some issues in the market when Instagram announced that they'd take all the pictures and they're allowed to sell it. So what's the difference to Instagram's style of behaviour here to EyeEm?
Dittmar: It's super easy. The user keeps the rights, not EyeEm. The photographer is the owner of the rights and I think that's super important, that he's not giving away by uploading to Facebook or Instagram, that he loses his rights of the ownership. EyeEm was always authentic and fair to the photographer and I think that's the point. That's the reason why real photographers are coming to EyeEm and not to the other ones.
Amos: For me as a stock photo buyer, it sometimes looks like an issue when I look at other marketplaces, that there is no real model release or property release behind a mobile stock photo. How do you handle this in your new marketplace?
Gen: Well, we did understand very early that this is obviously the most important thing. If a buyer comes to the site, they don't want to deal with licences or with the clutter or licences or with getting releases for an image. That is not acceptable. Everything that you see on the market is released. We actually have a pretty manual way to ingest the images which is getting more and more automated but one thing for sure, everything on the market is a hundred percent legal.
Amos: So this means that an EyeEm photographer needs to manually submit his pictures which then go into the channels?
Dittmar: That's correct. The images are there already in the community. What they have to do is they have to opt them from the community into the marketplace but then, obviously, we're only accepting stuff that is released.
Amos: And besides the marketplace which will obviously be one of your largest selling places there, there's also the Getty Collection. Can you tell us something about that?
Dittmar: That's a question for me. The Getty Collection is something that we're extremely proud of because we actually got a deal with them already at the point where we wouldn't have any images for sale. So you see how much trust is in there and how much belief in the whole concept. It has to do a lot with the whole image style changing from stock is stock into the more real authentic style that we are representing and Getty, they just digged that. And so this is why we got this deal at that very early stage. Obviously, that is a big advantage because we can reach out to the whole classic image market through Getty without building our own operation there and the whole digital market, we can deal with ourselves.
Amos: But regarding mobile phones, the picture quality has got better and better the last couple of years. Some buyers might be concerned about the quality. What do you say about the quality they finally get and can buy?
Gen: I think that's a matter of time. You can see that the iPhone 5 already provides twelve megapixels and stuff like that and I think that's A4. And A4 means you can print right? And I think it's not the matter of quality, it's the matter of real quality. For me, quality means what's in the picture; the idea, I think. That's more important than pixels. It's always about the idea. You can upload or shoot a Polaroid, it's about what's in the image and I think that's the advantage of EyeEm and the essence of EyeEm. That we have a real community and we have real humans taking real photos. It's not just staged; ‘okay, I'm pretty sure that this will be sold more and more', it's more about the idea of the photo. I think that's super important.
Dittmar: And as for the size, I do believe that big print formats are going to be extinguished pretty soon and this is all changing in favour of digital photography. Smartphone cameras are going bigger and bigger. It's very interesting in that context and so far, time is on our side.
Amos: And what I also like on EyeEm is you have all this geo-location information in it as well as the keywords and it gets kind of half automated. I mean, it recognizes where I am and it gives me some kind of keyword stuff which is very interesting. Is this something the buyer can later use as well?
Gen: For sure. It's super easy. The photographer has to check the image he is taking and if, for an example, he is in a bar, we know that it's night. That means that it's more gin tonic or more beer and if he's doing a breakfast then we know that it's more a croissant or a café latté and stuff like that. It's easy for the photographer that he tags it with cool recommendations.
Amos: And it makes it easier for the photo buyer as well, later on, to find in the right place? So in a coffee place, I can find the coffee place. I can find what I had there and everything. So what else do we give our watchers here? Dittmar?
Sorry? Come again? No, I'm joking. Do you want a T-Shirt, Amos? – Yeah of course. I bet it's XS, right? – This is XS. That's correct. Maybe if it's too big, you can have it altered so it's more skin tight. But maybe you want to give this away as a prize to your viewers?
Amos: Absolutely. I will take this and probably my wife will get it anyhow. We'll see if we give it away on the blog. So thank you very much for the interview. One last question – if I'm very keen to buy from the marketplace, when does it launch approximately, Dittmar?
Dittmar: I wish I could say exactly but we're communicating this summer so do expect something by the end of July.
Amos: Interesting. Thank you. – Yes, fingers crossed. And knock the wood. Okay. We have to go back to the office to work now.
Absolutely. Thanks Dittmar.
Gen: Danke, thanks.